Ever get in a total RUT in your relationship with your spouse?
My husband and I started dating when we were 15 & 16 years old. (You can read a tiny bit more about that here.) So we’ve been together half our lives. And while that isn’t a huge amount of time in the grand scheme of things (Jason’s grandparents have almost reached the 60+ anniversary mark! And the other set of grandparents is getting close to 50 years too!), we’ve learned a few things in our 14 years of marriage. One is that we work best as a team when we make time to TALK to one another. Makes sense, no?
Loud Like Metallica
Now, I don’t know about your house, but my house is LOUD. I saw a saying once that said: “My children have two noise levels: sleeping and Metallica.”
That basically sums up my house. (And I only have TWO kids.) [update: Make that three now.] They aren’t arguing. They aren’t whining (mostly….we definitely have our days too). They are just LOUD. Excited. Playful. (Typing this, I’m realizing that I guess they are just acting like… KIDS! Shocking! ha!)
When Daddy is home for dinner, EVERYONE wants his attention.
I’m asking about HIS day, our daughter is trying to tell him something she wants to share about HER day, and our son (to get in on the excitement) just starts hollering or saying random things about the food/toys he likes/or just “DAADDYYY.”
Four people trying to get heard at the same time is complete chaos.
(Now, don’t worry, we DO have our children wait while someone is talking. Or at least our 9 year old does this mostly, the 4 year old is a work in progress…. ) But mealtime with kids, regardless of taking turns in the conversation is not always so….RELAXING….
And it definitely isn’t a time where I can connect with my husband. (But going out isn’t usually doable most months, unless a gift card is involved!)
Insert BEST IDEA EVER!
Like SERIOUSLY! I am blushing at HOW LONG it took us to start doing this!
This ONE THING has hands down been fabulous for our marriage lately! (And cost? Basically free! It’s a win, it’s a win, it’s a win, WIN, WIN!)
What Do We Do?
Baring illness (we had a stomach bug around here recently, so our plans were squashed that week)…
We make a commitment to have dinner ALONE together ONE night a week.
That’s it. That’s the ONE THING we’ve changed lately that has been SO refreshing and has made me feel SO MUCH MORE connected to my husband!
WE feed the kids a simple meal (we still sit with them and talk together as a family), but we wait to have dinner until after the kids go to bed.
It gets better though! (Chef enthusiasts skip ahead because this is no meal to brag about!)
This meal is EASY PEASY! (That’s the whole point of this meal. Make it so easy so that all you need to focus on is spending time TOGETHER!) Lately our cheap and EASY meal of choice has been tortellini (from Trader Joe’s that we add a garlic butter “sauce” to) and some bread, and (if we are going fancy) a glass of wine. The noddles cost about $2.50 and the bread is about $3. A tip for a waitress would cost more than that if we went out to eat!
(Now, don’t get me wrong, I DO like going out! But in the seasons where that just isn’t feasible (budget is tight, you have an infant, no babysitter available), THIS method is a KEEPER! It seriously keeps me sane and is something I LOOK FORWARD to each week!
I JUST had to share it with you!
So plan a night in the next week to commit to having dinner SANS KIDS with your spouse! (Keep the TV off, put phones away. Just focus on spending time together!)
(If the two of you have been going in circles for so long this might even feel a tad awkward. That’s OK! Anything worth doing is WORTH doing! So make the time. Keep on. I can bet in time that you’re going to look forward to this weekly event too!
To make it a little fun, I also made a set of questions you and your spouse can ask each other. (Scroll down to the bottom).
Have fun, talk about each other’s weeks, goals for the week to come, share something you appreciated about each other from that week, and my biggest suggestion is make sure to LAUGH together.